Nash developed his own unique take on surrealism during the 1930s, fusing British tradition with European modernism. He was influenced by Italian artist Giorgio de Chirico’s paintings of people-less piazzas and strange disorienting architecture. In Mansions of the Dead
, Nash interprets a seventeenth century essay on death and immortality by Thomas Browne as a dreamlike scene with birds ascending into a geometric grid like structure.
Mansions of the Dead
57.8 x 39.4 cm
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Date of work
Original: Graphite and watercolour on paper 57.8 x 39.4 cm Tate. Purchased 1981 © Tate
Paul Nash was fascinated with Britain’s ancient past and spent time in southern England exploring the downs and coastal areas. Equally inspired by the equinox and the phases of the moon, he used all these influences in his work, interpreting his environment according to a unique, personal mythology, evolving throughout his career.